What Makes a Painting Job More Expensive?

Posted on September 22, 2022

A professional paint job for your home – whether it’s interior or exterior – is both an investment and a way of protecting an investment: the home itself. Updated exterior paint protects against weather damage, while fresh interior paint improves air quality, gives you a new look, and helps protect your walls from damage and stains. These benefits cost money, of course, but some factors contribute to costs more than others.

Today, let’s take a look at what makes a painting job more expensive. With this knowledge, you may be able to take some steps to keep costs down – or at least know what to expect when a professional painting company comes to your home for an estimate!


The first major expense is paint! While there are a ton of options available, this is an area where you won’t want to skimp. Talk to your painting company about the most affordable choices, but remember that higher quality paint is going to last longer, look better, and provide more protection than cheaper alternatives. In fact, most paint companies will only work with trusted brands like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams.

For harsh climates, special needs, and other unique situations, your paint company may recommend more robust paint (which is usually more expensive), but the benefits are well worth the investment.

Some types of exteriors also require more paint than others, which will factor into overall costs. Stucco and brick, for example, require as much as 50% more paint than aluminum siding for adequate, effective coverage.


Labor costs account for most of the expense of painting a home. Square footage that needs painting, prep time like masking and laying drop cloths, moving equipment, power washing, and so on all contribute to the amount of labor a given job requires. The larger and more complex the job, the more it costs!

You can save money here by taking care of some of the prep work on your own, especially cleaning and moving furniture and other large objects. Before you go too far, however, ask your paint company – either during the initial estimate walkthrough or before you even schedule it – about steps you can take to reduce labor costs and speed up the whole process.

With their guidance, you may be able to take care of some of the work before the paint crew arrives, but understand that some of the prep work needs to be done by professionals. If you go too far, though, and start masking things yourself or doing your own scraping, you just might create even more work for the paint crew!


An extension of labor costs, but worthy of its own category here, the intricacy of your painting job makes a huge difference in overall costs. The primary contributors here are windows! Windows with many small panes of glass simply take longer to properly mask and paint, and the more of these kinds of windows you have in your home, the more the whole painting job is going to cost.

This same concept extends to hard to reach eaves, adding accent walls, rooms with lots of trim, and other fine detail work. There isn’t much to be done here to reduce costs, but it’s helpful to know what to expect when the estimator finishes their walkthrough.

As always, a reputable, professional painting company will be clear and upfront about the cost of the job, and happy to answer any questions you may have. To get started on your interior or exterior home painting project, contact CertaPro today!

License Info: MA 196235